Brachytherapy and percutaneous stenting in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma: a prospective randomised study

Eur J Radiol. 2007 May;62(2):175-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2007.01.037. Epub 2007 Mar 6.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of radiation therapy including intraluminal brachytherapy with iridium-192 on survival of patients with malignant biliary strictures (cholangiocarcinoma, histologically improved) treated with metallic stent in a prospective randomised study.

Method and materials: In the prospective randomised study, 21 patients with cholangiocarcinoma were treated with implantation of percutaneous stents followed with intraluminal Ir-192 brachytherapy (mean dose 30 Gy) and external radiotherapy (mean dose 50 Gy) and 21 patients were treated only with stents insertion. We did not find any statistically significant differences in age and tumor localization between these two groups of patients.

Results: All the patients died. In the group of patients treated with brachytherapy and with stent implantation, the mean survival time was 387.9 days. In the group of patients treated only with stent insertion the mean survival was 298 days. In effort to eliminate possible effect of external radiotherapy we treated the control group of eight patients with cholangiocarcinoma by stent insertion and brachytherapy only.

Conclusion: Our results show that combined radiation therapy could extend the survival in the patients with cholangiocarcinoma obstruction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / pathology*
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / radiation effects
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / surgery
  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Brachytherapy* / methods
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / radiotherapy*
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Iridium Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Iridium Radioisotopes